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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 March 2004
What can I say about this album? Well, I LOVE IT for starters. There is not a duff track on it and I echo the previous sentiments about this release being criminally underappreciated. Right from the off, the upbeat The New Life, we have an album of superbly crafted New Age pop-rock songs. There is a very deep sense of an underlying spirituality, a place where Paganism and Christianity not only meet but happily co-exist. The lyrics themselves offer up glimpses of magical places and faraway lands. The guitar playing of Mr Scott is exemplary, being both electrifying and steeped in feeling. His vocals (though nasal in places) do the material justice. I can't imagine anyone else performing these numbers. The pomp and ceremony of The Return of Jimi Hendrix has to be heard to be believed, Jim Keltner's drumming launches itself into the stratosphere with Mike's guitar doodlings weaving in, around and through the proceedings perfectly. This is a great album. This is a magical album. This is Mike Scott at his creative best IMO. Buy it.
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on 3 January 2002
Dream Harder was a distinct return to form following on from the patchy Waterboys outing of 1990, Room To Roam, which took the brilliant Fisherman's Blues sound to an unsettling extreme.
Gone are many of the Celtic influences and experiments, and in come elements of Eastern mysticism, New Age janglings and even a bit of Prog-Rock thrown in for good measure. Multimusician Anthony Thistlethwaite had jumped-ship after Room To Roam, leaving Mike Scott as the only founding member and a collection of session muso's.
There are some truly great moments here, especially on the mesmeric Return of Pan, the quirkiness of Glastonbury Song, Corn Circles and Spiritual City and the uplifting The New Life, the album opener.
If not for anything else, buy this album for the utterly brilliant Preparing To Fly, one of the greatest songs Scott and his ever-changing entourage have ever recorded.
Definately worth investigation and a criminally underrated classic.
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on 28 February 2015
I bought three early cds of the waterboys this is the sea , fishermans blues and pagen place then I jumped to this wow what a change in style its move polished , more electic guitars I can here a little bryan ferry oasis, john lennon , and jimmy hendrix on this cd but the main thing I see the spiritual side to mike scott which is rear in the world today , as with may singers ,poets , they do have that side to them , I still think mike scott should be more popular as the body of work he as made and ive heared over the years is up with the best of them , I would say this is a most for waterboys fans , as this is only the fourth cd I bought but it stands out the most ,I hear modern music and I don't get it , I hear the waterboys/ mike scott and I get it , yes to the water boys fans buy this as it stands out to me
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on 18 February 2011
This album has taken some stick from Waterboys purists in the past, mainly on the grounds that it represented a significant shift from the old mythic Irish folk/rock to a more electric guitar-led sound. Whatever the rights and wrongs, it stands up as a class set of (generally) rockier songs, an expanded range to the band. New Life and Glastonbury Song set an early upbeat pace, with The Return of Pan and The Return of Jimi Hendrix more extended guitar workouts. Whilst Corn Circles and Spiritual City are complete clunkers (Mike Scott having a laugh, surely?), Love & Death and Wonders of Lewis should probably have enough of the old melodic whimsy to satisfy the diehards. Overall, well worth adding to your collection.
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on 27 October 1999
Dream Harder is a change for Mike Scott and The Waterboys, a move beyond their heavy celtic phase and into something sounding a little more like pop. The hit single, "The Glastonbury Song", is the heart of the album. Bursting with creativity and imagination, the song can only look forward. "The New Life" and the "Spiritual City" are places clearly in sight here for The Waterboys. Their creative influences come to them in visions, and they introduce us to C.S. Lewis, Jimi Hendrix, and the pagan god Pan. Their music soars and, as always, the lyrics are poetry.
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on 27 April 2009
This is one of the most beautiful and positive albums I own. I've loved it since it came out and it holds such nice memories of long hot summers gone past. It's an album for awakenings and new beginnings. I just love it, and I hope you do too.
Thanks for the poetry and awesome music, Mike. (Any chance of a remaster or a delux edition? :)
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on 1 August 2013
A beautiful, magical and poetic album with a range of diverse songs some hard hitting 'Suffer', some spiritual 'The New Life'. I particularly like 'The Return of Jimi Hendrix' shows great insight; having been around then it seems looking back as if Hendrix did do it all in a day such was the frenetic nature of the times. A great album with great musicians some of Mike Scott's best songs a very uplifting experience.
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on 17 February 2013
I reckon it's not how much you like a CD when you buy it counts, it's how often you come back to it year after year. I bought this when it came out (1990?) and still love it to bits. Some of the tracks I wasn't that keen on in my twenties such as Wonders of Lewis, I now think are some of the best. The lyrics and sound of this album inspire me and each time I listen to it I hear something else.

If I was sent to a desert island and could chose one CD to take with me, this would be it.
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on 17 April 2012
An excellant album from the early 1990's and in my opinion the waterboys best! It has a mixture of folk and rock music that will make you smile and a spirtual connection for those who want to search a little deeper.
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on 28 August 2016
Despite a twee-ness and excess of spirituality this is just a genuinely great album. One of the waterboys most playable.
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